This morning I was watching, as I do most Saturdays, Michael Smerconish on CNN. This week he was trying to find a new angle on the week long depressing reports on the Texas floods. He began the show by talking about the President’s and the First Lady’s clothes and shoes. Apparently Mr. Trump received criticism for wearing khakis to visit the flood site and Mrs. Trump was criticized for wearing seven inch spiky heels (I’m guessing the size.)
Mr. Smerconish dismissed Mr. Trump’s dress noting that Presidents Obama and Bush wore khakis to their visits to their disaster visits of Sandy and Katrina. When it came to Mrs. Trump’s heels, he just said in a very male fashion, “Who Cares?”
Actually I didn’t see Mrs. Trump’s heels this morning but I did see Mike Pence’s wife Karen’s approach to the dress of the day. She was more casually dressed than I would have preferred. She wore a blue silk short-sleeved tee outlined in black and indistinct nicely fitting jeans. To be honest she’s got a pretty nice figure. I was a bit envious.
My less than expert commentary on the dress of both women is that they speak to who they are: Melania always has to find a way to make a flashy statement even though she’s trying really hard to be proper, and Karen in her “aw shucks” demeanor and her attitude of wanting to support her man, usually selects a look that says all I like want to do is get down to brass tacks and start helping. I’m as ordinary as you.
It is true that Mrs. Trump switched from her spiky heels and black pants and top and green combat jacket to jeans, tennies and a white shirt. She probably could have worn one outfit and made it work.
So what would I wear if I were first or second lady? First I’d consider the weather: I know it’s hot and humid. Second, I’d think about the location and where I’d be photographed. That would be walking on the tarmac to the plane and getting off the plane. Third I’d think about my destinations once I got off the plane. Fourth, I’d definitely want to be comfortable and not have to think about what I was wearing, and fifth, of course I’d want to look good. As always, my clothes would have to be appropriate to my size, my stature, and my best assets.
Mrs. Trump definitely is good at using her height to accentuate the positive. I credit her for that. What would I change? I’d make the heels the height of the ones she usually wears if she has to make a statement. I see her in her red jeans, her white shirt, perhaps tucked in with a slimmer belt than she usually wears. Maybe she could have worn a jean jacket at the start that she could take off if the weather became too warm. I like the hat and pony tail, although an alternative might have been to not wear a hat and pull her hair back at the nape of neck. She seems to have trouble going from harnessed appropriate to harnessed casual.
For Mrs. Pence, I’d wear jeans similar to the Not Your Daughter Jeans that are considered a regular fit rather than such a tight one or else some attractive khakis. I’d wear a white tee shirt and over that a lightweight attractive blouse maybe in her blue of choice with sleeves rolled up. For shoes, (she was wearing flats), I’d wear some attractive canvas shoes with flaps and no ties. And I’d comb my hair or find some way to hold it in place.
In essence, I don’t think either one of the women hit the mark. Maybe they’ll get better with time. I’m pretty sure that Michelle Obama and Jill Biden would have known what to do.